Pardus, Rodgers on the Rise in Monday Night Racing Power Rankings
The Monday Night Racing Pro Series presented by Rowdy Energy has hit the mid-way point in their regular season. With only four races left to make the Playoffs, drivers are going to try everything to etch their name in the playoff grid. Josh Bilicki was able to solidify his spot in the postseason after his win Monday night in the Big Green Egg Challenge at the Daytona International Speedway road course by .09 seconds over Preston Pardus.
Here is your Week Four Power Rankings:
- David Schildhouse/ –
Eight points back from the championship lead, Schildhouse is showing how good he can be when things go his way. He never turns down a challenge so when he idea arose to start from the back, he did just that. Even though he started in the rear, he was able to get up to ninth by the mid-way break and finish the race in sixth.
- Collin Fern/ –
Fern led nine laps Monday night, but was not able to score his second victory of the year. He looked strong through the majority of the race, but was scored in the eighth place when he crossed the start-finish line. Fern is locked in to the postseason, so he is going to be hunting for wins in the remaining four regular season races.
- Gary Sexton/ –
Sexton didn’t perform as well as we have seen him through the first three races, but a twelfth-place finish, nonetheless, was a decent result for driver No. 13. I still believe Sexton is a top-three driver and he will be one to watch this Monday as MNR visits the dirt at Knoxville.
- DJ Cummings/ +3
DJ Cummings continues to climb the Power Rankings week after week. His worst finish this season is fourteenth and he is one of the most consistent guys in the series. A good race at Knoxville on Monday could help Cummings tremendously as he hopes to make his fourth playoff appearance in as many Monday Night Racing seasons.
- Preston Pardus/ +5
Pardus looked as good as expected in the Mazda MX-5 Cup cars on Monday night. After coming a few spots short in the real-life races at Daytona, Pardus captured a second place finish in the Monday Night Racing Pro Series’ visit to the same track. Pardus is currently tied for the points lead with Will Rodgers as MNR hits a tough patch of races in the coming weeks.
- Will Rodgers/ +5
As mentioned above, Rodgers is tied for the points lead with Pardus. The season one champion could easily be crowned as the first Monday Night Racing repeat champion if he keeps his stellar season going. Top-fives in each of the last two races has propelled Rodgers as a favorite to win each week and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
- Rajah Caruth/ -3
Other than Caruth’s seventh-place at Las Vegas two weeks ago, the season has not been as flashy as many anticipated. But, Rajah has been so good on asphalt ovals in MNR competition; three of the last four races are on asphalt ovals. Needless to say, there are a lot of opportunities for Caruth to find victory lane.
- Kyle Busch/ -2
Kyle Busch rode in the back for a majority of the Big Green Egg Challenge on Monday and finished in the back after a late wreck with Caruth. Busch won last week’s event at Michigan and has nothing to worry about during the next four races as he is locked into the Playoffs.
- Adam Cabot/ -4
Once Cabot got involved in an incident early in the race, he was never able to rebound. The past two weeks have not been kind to Cabot as they have handed him 15th and 19th place finishes. There are definitely races left in the regular season that Cabot has a shot to win, but he needs to execute in a big way.
- Garrett Smithley/ -1
Even though Smithley finished inside the top-ten on Monday, he wasn’t a contender for the win. He started the season atop the Power Rankings and has had a slow decline since Daytona. The next four races are crucial for Smithley as the playoffs approach.
- Gabe Wood/ -3
Four weeks in, I still believe Wood is a top-15 driver in the Monday Night Racing Pro Series. But, with an average finish of 30.5 over the last two races, the JD Motorsports tire specialist needs to step it up if he wants to remain in the playoff picture.
- Ryan Vargas/ N/A
The driver of the No. 6 Chevrolet Camaro in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ryan Vargas, has been trending upward since his 27th-place finish in the season opener at Daytona. He is performing better at a good time as the regular season is officially halfway through.
- Ford Martin/ N/A
Crypto Autosport’s Ford Martin makes his first appearance in the Power Rankings this week after an eleventh place finish at Daytona. Martin has shown speed this season but hasn’t been able to reel in the finishes he deserves. I think Martin can excel the next few weeks and make a strong playoff push.
- Robby Lyons/ -1
Monday night’s event was not Lyons best performance to say the least. He ran around 10th-15th for a majority of the race and ended up in 20th. Lyons needs the consistency he had early if he wants to keep hope alive to be a repeat champion.
- Steven Ellis/ N/A
Steven Ellis deserved a spot in the Power Rankings last week and didn’t get it; this week, he finds a spot in the top-fifteen. A week ago at Michigan, Ellis finished 12th and this past Monday, he was 14th. He is a true sleeper inside the top-ten in the championship standings and hopes to make a playoff appearance in a couple weeks.
Dropped Out: James Bickford, Anthony Alfredo, and Max Kennon